From June 21 to the 22nd, Fraser Distillery is hosting Jack Kerouac. Come and see the statue created by by Howard Neville, a Grand County artist, sculpture and resident. In honor of the statue, Fraser Distillery will be offering tasting and tours from 12:00 to 4:00 Thursday – Saturday.
Excerpt from "On the Road"
“Sal, Sal, look, this is where I was born, think of it! People change, they eat meals year after year and change with every meal. EE! Look!” He was so excited it made me cry. Where would it all lead? The tourists insisted on driving the car the rest of the way to Denver. Okay, we didn’t care. We sat in the back and talked. But they got too tired in the morning and Dean took the wheel in the eastern Colorado desert at Craig. We had spent almost the entire night crawling cautiously over Strawberry Pass in Utah and lost a lot of time. They went to sleep. Dean headed pellmell for the mighty wall of Berthoud Pass that stood a hundred miles ahead on the roof of the world, a tremendous Gibraltarian door shrouded in clouds. He took Berthoud Pass like a June bug-same as at Tehachapi, cutting off the motor and floating it, passing everybody and never halting the rhythmic advance that the mountains themselves intended, till we overlooked the great hot plain of Denver again-and Dean was home.
It was with a great deal of silly relief that these people let us off the car at the corner of Ayth and Federal. Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
On Wednesday, June 19th, a new life size Bronze statue of Jack Kerouac will be unveiled at the Distillery in Fraser. It’s only fitting that the statue of Kerouac makes its first appearance shortly after the 75th anniversary of D-Day because Kerouac’s post-World War II novel, ON THE ROAD, is often seen as one of the defining books that introduced the Counterculture of the 1960s. It’s listed as one of the top 100 novels of the 20th century.
When Jack Kerouac and his companions were traipsing across North America after World War II, there were no interstate highways. Those traveling from Denver to Salt Lake City mostly drove on the narrow, two-laned Highway 40.
From Denver, that highway switchbacks its way over the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass, what Kerouac, in his famous 1956 book, “On the Road,” called “that tremendous Gibraltarian door.” One of Colorado’s first ski areas, the eponymous Berthoud Pass Ski Area, was in business then.
He started less than a foot tall, but over the course of two and a half years Jack Kerouac grew to stand around six feet tall. Not the real Kerouac, of course, but local artist Howard Neville’s bronze likeness of the literary icon, which he unveiled Wednesday evening.
At the Fraser Valley Distillery, locals and guests packed the restaurant to see Neville’s final version of Kerouac and hear him speak about his process. It was an evening filled with callbacks to Kerouac’s life, including two distant relatives who came to the unveiling.